Erie's Mother Teresa Academy has only been open for a little over a year.

But the mission school is already making a big difference in the lives of many inner city children and their families.

The school is focused on providing a high quality education but it stresses more than just academics.

Principal Jamie Brim says there is a focus on Catholic values, even though most of the children are not Catholic.

She said, "We want them to grow with us, not only academically but in their faith as well. Knowing that more than 80% of our students are not Catholic gives us the opportunity to instill Catholic values with them."

The school also makes family involvement a priority. In fact, parents and students sign a contract. Students are expected to follow the guidelines with parental involvement required.

Brim said, "We have to work together because what we are teaching has to be taught at home and vice versa."

Parents pay some tuition but it is nominal. The bulk of the budget is pay for by donors who support the mission of the school."

School President Rev. Scott Jabo said, "Mother Teresa Academy is philanthropy based. So much of our budget comes from the generosity of donors."